Dealing with a sprained ankle can be just as painful as dealing with a fractured bone. Pain is pain. Further, if the sprained ankle is not treated immediately, this type of soft tissue injury can easily become serious and long-term if not taken seriously.
When your muscles, tendons, nerves, or ligaments experience trauma, you have experienced a soft tissue injury. Many soft tissue injuries often happen because of sudden and uncontrolled movements. These movements can happen if you step off of a curb and twist your ankle. They can also happen if you have been involved in a car accident and your body jolts a certain way; think whiplash, or tensing your arms or legs to brace against the moment of impact in a fall or a crash.
What are the different types of soft tissue injuries?
To the average person, a sprain is a sprain. However, there are levels to the severity of soft tissue injuries. The following common soft tissue injuries are:
- Grade 1. Grade 1 soft tissue injuries are the least painful. You will experience mild tenderness and a little swelling. Sprains would be considered a Grade 1 soft tissue injury.
- Grade 2. These soft tissue injuries involve moderate pain. Your ligaments can be partially torn and you will have issues putting any weight on the injured area.
- Grade 3. These are the most serious soft tissue injuries. With Grade 3 injuries, you experience a complete rupture of your muscle or tendon. You will experience instability around the affected joint and will have a serious issue functioning with the injured body part.
How do you know if you have a soft tissue injury?
The symptoms of mild soft tissue injuries can make the healing process even more difficult. One of the symptoms involves excessive swelling. Swelling slows down the healing process significantly. Joints may also feel stiff. Long-term soft tissue injuries may be unstable in the affected area. Other symptoms include hearing a crack or pop at the time of the injury, a deformed look around the affected area, and a numb or tingling feeling.
With mild and moderate soft tissue injuries, the recovery process usually takes a few weeks. But there is little chance of recovery for long-term soft tissue injuries. When your muscles, ligaments, and tendons have experienced serious trauma, the damage can be permanent. It can also lead to lifelong problems in other parts of your body. Depending on where the muscles or tendons were torn, even damage done to your heart is considered soft tissue damage.
Just about every part of the body is dependent on soft tissues to perform. Soft tissues are the connections between your bones and muscles, and when they are permanently damaged, you may have issues with moving your arms, legs, and feet. Your spinal cord can even lose function if the soft tissues are badly damaged.
Compensation for Huntsville soft tissue injuries
To get a thorough diagnosis of your soft tissue injury, you will need to seek immediate medical attention after an accident. Permanent soft tissue damage can cause your bodily functions to be extremely limited. You will have to depend on different medical services like physical therapy, injections, and medical devices like crutches. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also require a health aide to assist with your daily needs.
A catastrophic injury is an injury that is sudden and causes you to experience permanent disability. Your soft tissue injury is considered catastrophic if it causes you to become permanently disabled. If your injury happened because of another person’s negligent and careless actions, that person is legally responsible for your damages. You have the option of seeking compensation from that person through a personal injury claim.
Challenges with soft tissue injury claims
Even when you file a personal injury claim, it may be difficult to prove the severity of your injuries with soft tissue injuries. Many insurance agents consider brain injuries and spinal cord injuries to be catastrophic, because the injury (or its effects) is more noticeable. However, because the majority of soft tissue injuries tend to heal (sometimes within a few weeks, sometimes longer but before you get to court), insurance agents don’t consider them serious enough for compensation. All this means is that you will need to provide strong evidence that speaks to the nature of your injuries. Our Huntsville personal injury attorneys can help.
The right type of proof
The best proof that you can provide is any documentation of your medical records. You can provide copies of X-rays, copies of your doctor’s visits, and copies of all invoices regarding your medical services. As much as insurance agents want to, they can’t argue with legitimate evidence like medical records that back up your claims.
Your course of treatment
Another type of proof that can help your claim is a paper trail of any courses of treatment you’ve been following for your injury. Many people with soft tissue injuries will usually participate in physical therapy or other exercises as part of their treatment. You can show receipts for any physical therapy services you’ve had to pay out of pocket for your soft tissue injuries. Demonstrating the course of treatment that you were recommended by your physicians proves to insurance agents the seriousness of your injuries, especially if you have been following it for a long time.
When you have suffered a soft tissue injury because of another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. At Martin & Helms, we believe in helping you seek justice when you have been hurt from someone else’s negligence. Let our personal injury lawyers fight for you. Call our office at 256-539-1990, or complete our contact form to schedule your free consultation. We serve injured clients in and around Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, and Madison.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is an important step in building a better future. You deserve a lawyer who works one-on-one with you, and who can develop a plan for you to move forward. When you choose Martin & Helms, you get Clay Martin and Tara Helms: experienced, compassionate counselors who put your best interests first. We invite you to read more about us.